Military Life: 4 Unusual Tips To Keep You Sane During Your Next PCS
Last week I shared how technology saved my sanity more than once during our recent PCS. I also shared that this PCS was so different from any of our other moves because the short notice prevented us from being able to schedule movers AND meet my soldiers report date.
At first it seemed like an impossible situation but as we sorted through so many different options we settled on a FULL DITY (aka Do it yourself). While I don’t know if its the perfect option for us it did have it’s perks – like the fact that I knew where everything was throughout the entire process!
The military surely gives us so many opportunities to broaden our skill set doesn’t it?
As you can imagine I learned a whole new set of coping skills and tips for balancing this crazy military life and now I get to share them with you. But before I do I just want to say that there are some awesome blog posts around the web that cover the various “How To’s” of a successful PCS. They share numerous perspectives like 50 Tips YOU NEED Before Your Next PCS ) or the “Prepare Yourself Early” version from Spousebuzz and the latest on Spouselink is the “Received Orders?” post. All with great logistical information – but I love to talk about the emotional stuff.
So I warn you that while my tips may be a bit unconventional, they also kept me sane throughout the entire process which was INSANE! (In case you missed it… we packed an entire house, loaded moving vehicles (2 – but that’s a story for another time), towed our cars and drove for 3 days only to sign for housing late on day 3 . OH did I forget to mention that we were completely unpacked (except for the garage/non-essentials) within 36 hours. Total move time 9 days from the filling of the first box). So here we go with your
4 Unusual Tips To Keep You Sane In Your Next PCS
Yoga pants and a cute top go anywhere. (Tell them you heard it from me :))
Contrary to the opinion of many of the milspouse “fashion police”, tasteful yoga pants are a must when you are in the midst of a PCS. You have to be able to move from packing boxes to running paperwork to your spouse (only to run into their chain of command I will add). You need to be able to transition from a goodbye coffee to a quick commissary run to feed the helpers (which you know will include an unfortunate run in with THAT one spouse who wants to see how you are “handling” it all). Yes, a pair a black (tasteful) yoga pants and a cute top can be comfy, stylish and appropriate for getting it all done.
Remember Technology is your friend.
I think the most difficult part of last-minute orders was the whole internet/”being connected” piece. As someone who works from home trying to adjust on the fly was challenging. But I discovered that using my smartphone as a hotspot for all our devices kept us connected, accessible and allowed me to continue to work throughout our move. For info on how to create a hotspot on the go check out that blog post here.
Stick with Your Original Plan
As moving pro’s wemilspouses usually make a travel plan don’t we? Well I am here to tell you that you really should stick with the original plan for one very simple reason. When you are exhausted – which you will be – all rational decision-making skills are gone. Trust me I know.On our last day in CO we were fortunate that my soldier was able to do his final out REALLY quickly. So instead of getting a good night sleep at the good hotel that we had reservations for, we decided to head out and get a few hours under our belt. What we didn’t realize is that there are no towns to speak of about 4 hours east of Colorado Springs. When we hit the wall and were too tired to drive even a mile more our only choice was a roadside motel that had me giving my soldier THE look. Without going into details my look was warranted but because we were walking zombies I chose to suck it up. We eventually got a couple of restless hours of sleep andt were on our way before the crack of dawn smelling of stale cigarettes and wishing we had the guts to actually use the shower. NEVER AGAIN and lesson learned. When you are exhausted stick with the original plan as trust me, you are not in the emotional state of mind to make any sound decisions and where you sleep is a BIGGIE.
Let Yourself Ugly Cry
Sometimes the physical exhaustion, stress and emotional rollercoaster that comes with a PCS can become overwhelming. As we drove across Kansas all I wanted to do was turn around. From the moment we got orders I did my best to turn my mindset and attitude “Right Side Up“, but honestly it was hard. I loved Colorado and while I knew I could make the best of any duty station I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay right where I was to hell with the new set of orders.And then a funny thing happened about half way through Dorothy & Toto’s home state. I let myself be sad. For the first time since orders came down I allowed myself to cry – and I mean UGLY cry. The kind of cry that you wipe so many tears and runny nose drips that your sleeve sticks to your arm. I cried to every sad song, every corn-stalk/wheat field and I cried so loud that I woke my sleeping dog. I sobbed to the point that truckers were sending worried looks my way. I dare to think what they would have done if they could have heard me. The reality was that I needed to let it all out. I needed to be sad that I was leaving a place I had grown to love, and I needed to allow myself to grieve. Holding it all in was only delaying the inevitable break, and I’m thankful I allowed myself to let go.So pick your moment, let yourself ugly cry because trust me it will make you feel so much better!
No these aren’t conventional or even typical Judy tips, and like I said you will still need all the logistical tips and strategies that are all over the blogosphere about proper PCS techniques. And I would suggest that you check them out BEFORE you use these simple albeit unusual tips as they are really icing on the cake to make things so much easier. PCS can be a stressful and challenging time, but when you use the coping strategies that work for you it can be a true adventure!
I’d love you hear about your unusual “thing”&/or strategy that made your last PCS a little better! Share it with us in the comments below I’d love to add it to my tool box!!
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com
From the moment you hear a heartbeat, the enormity of what lies ahead hits you full on and mom stress becomes a real thing. Whether it’s your first or fifth time becoming a new mom it is always a challenge. A new family member changes everything and brings with it a new normal that over time will unfold naturally. But what do you do when you are sleep deprived and unsure whether it’s day [...]
Today's post is from guest Sylvia Smith who shares how to heal from a toxic relationship. While she approaches it from the relationship perspective, her tips can apply to toxic friendships as well!
Toxic relationships are unfortunately widespread and can be damaging to your health both physically and mentally. These abusive relationships are usually rife with emotional abuse resulting in low [...]
“Everyone deserves to realize their fullest potential toward health and well-being,
and good mental health care is essential to this”.
Dr. Arpan Waghray of Providence St. Joseph Health is also spot on in this video discussing the importance of integrated care toward long-term overall health. The future of healthcare must challenge the way we look at patients and begin integrating [...]
As I browse my social media feeds I notice so many people are fed up and unsure of the direction of their lives. It reminded me of a post I wrote a couple of years ago when my son was stressed about what he would do with his life. Fast forward nothing he even considered was to be his path; life took him in a totally different direction. And it's more than ok not only for him, but for any of us [...]
You may have noticed I've been a little quiet lately. Between the passing of my mother-in-law, supporting my husband, handling military life and dealing with all the feelings of my own, I haven't had the focus to do much else than the bare necessities. And I have been feeling guilty for taking a much-needed time out from anything that drains me physically or emotionally and just staying in my[...]
Sometimes as we traverse military life it can feel as though we live separately from the outside world. We have our own lingo, we take pride in things others take for granted and our day to day challenges are very different from our civilian counterparts. Because of this we need to build stronger coping skills and hone our self care strategies so that we are prepared - especially for the stuff[...]
Military spouse, Judy Davis, is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, published author and co-founder of DASIUM and Mighty Parenting. She is an expert in military life, small business success and suicide prevention in teens/young adults.